There’s a very cool facet to Small Type Issue (SFF) mini-PCs the place a pocket book or a desktop simply gained’t do. Though small book-sized PCs are succesful in each space of computing, they’ve at all times been weak in gaming. Though it isn’t marketed for gaming, ECS despatched us a LIVA One A300 barebones PC that we outfitted with a budget-friendly Ryzen 5 5600G APU, and we benchmarked it with 40 video games, workstation, and artistic purposes to see if it’s a succesful PC that can also be acceptible for entry-level 1080P gaming.
The 205 x 176 x 33 mm (8.07″ x 6.93″ x 1.3″) LIVA One A300 helps AMD Ryzen & Athlon Processors as much as 65W with an ECS customized mini-ITX A300 SF110 Socket AM4 motherboard. It is going to assist dual-core Athlons all the best way to the 8-core/16 thread Ryzen 5 5700G in addition to 2x32GB SO-DIMM DDR4 3200MHz, a 2.5″ SATA HDD/SSD, plus a M.2 2280 SATA/PCIe x 4 Gen 3 SSD.
Since we wished a price range gaming construct, we picked the 6-core/12 thread Ryzen 5 5600G ($169) which makes use of the identical however barely lower down Radeon Vega 7 built-in graphics. It’s only about 5% slower in gaming than the 8-core/16 thread Ryzen 7 5700G thus saving $100 on the APU. We outfitted our construct with a quick (3,400/3,000MBps) 1TB PCIe T-Power Cardea IOPs NVMe SSD ($120), and 2x8GB Samsung SO-DIMM DDR4 3200MHz ($58.00) which is adequate for an beneath $550/$600 1080P gaming construct with the LIVA One A300 at $200 ($250 MSR) which was the value at Newegg till it offered out.
Since inflation is pushing costs greater, we need to see if a small type issue PC is an efficient funding and in addition whether it is able to entry-level 1080P gaming. The solely selection is AMD as Intel’s built-in CPU graphics are unable to ship an acceptible 1080P gaming expertise apart from very previous or quite simple video games. Nonetheless, fashionable video games have gotten increasingly demanding and the Vega 7 built-in graphics are reasonably lengthy within the tooth having been launched 5 years in the past.
LIVA One A300 Options & Specs
From the ECS Liva One A300 specification web page:
- PLATFORM – Help AMD Ryzen™ & Athlon™ Processors with Socket AM4
- MEMORY – Help 2 x SO-DIMM DDR4 3200MHz, as much as 64GB (fluctuate relying on CPU)
- STORAGE DEVICES
1 x 2.5″ SATA HDD/ SSD
1 x M.2 2280 SATA / PCIe x 4 Gen 3 SSD
1 x Combo Jack
1 x MIC-IN
- NETWORKING – 1 x 2.5 Gigabit LAN
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 Sort C, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1×1 (FRONT I/O)
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1×1, 2 x USB 2.0 (REAR I/O)
- VIDEO OUTPUT
1 x M.2 2230 WLAN 802.11ac
1 x M.2 2230 WLAN 802.11ax (Optionally available)
1 x DC-in
TDP 35W: 19V / 90W
TDP 65W: 19V / 120W
- DIMENSIONS (MM) – 205 x 176 x 33 mm
- OS SUPPORT – Home windows 10 & Home windows 11
The Take a look at Mattress
BTR’s take a look at mattress consists of 40 video games and 5 artificial recreation benchmarks at 1920×1080 in addition to SPEC, workstation, CPU, reminiscence, and GPGPU benchmarks. Our newest video games embrace Sniper Elite 5, Whole Struggle: Warhammer III, God of Struggle, Ghostwire: Tokyo, Elden Ring, Dying Gentle 2, DEATHLOOP, and CoD: Vanguard.
The platform that we examine the LIVA One A300 with in artistic and workstation duties is the far more highly effective and six-times-more-expensive PCGz Blue Elixir desktop utilizing Intel Core i7-12700KF, an EVGA RTX 3080 FTW video card, and 2x16GB G.SKILL Trident Z 3600MHz DDR4 on an ASUS TUF Gaming H670-PRO WIFI D4 motherboard.
We notice that this can be a very unfair comparability however we don’t have one other CPU platform obtainable – besides a 12900K/DDR5 PC. At least, it can give a baseline comparability that units relative worth on this David versus Goliath contest.
Why Select a SFF PC?
The principle purpose to select a small PC is for its small footprint and minimal vitality utilization in contrast with a full-sized desktop PC. Players and creators could love gaming and creation however maybe not the big quantity of area a typical desktop PC requires. A big mid-tower tends to take over a whole desk, and transferring it to the ground makes it susceptable to break from being kicked, to not point out its port accessibility turns into problematic. Mini SFF PCs just like the A300 take up no extra room than a typical e book and might even be mounted on the again of a monitor and its ports are at all times inside arm’s attain. It’s also a lot simpler to journey with a SFF PC in contrast with packing a desktop.
In relation to utilizing a PC to render video, produce audio, create, do workstation duties, stream, and extra, notebooks can’t examine to an SFF PC. A pocket book usually makes use of a small built-in show which is inferior to the various selections afforded by selecting from a mess of desktop displays. As well as, a pocket book is at all times a compromise between typing on it and display screen viewing whereas the desktop show and the keyboard can every be positioned at their excellent top and distance.
All-in-one notebooks are sometimes tormented by poor cooling with accompanying CPU throttling, loud followers, troublesome to improve elements, and poor battery life. Then again, a full-size desktop is cumbersome and lacks mobility however makes up for it with elevated efficiency and its ease of upgrading. A SFF Mini PC can ship one of the best of each worlds – CPU efficiency that’s typically on par with huge desktop PCs and stronger than most notebooks with related elements. Skilled content material creators usually want a desktop over a pocket book for greater efficiency utilizing one of the best show potential. Quiet noise ranges are additionally essential as SFF techniques are sometimes positioned on the desk degree and are usually quieter than notebooks that are very cramped and run sizzling.
The problem for a gamer is that the A300 doesn’t have room for a devoted graphics card, so the entire video efficiency will depend on the Ryzen 5 5600G’s built-in Radeon Vega 7 graphics. These are thought-about inadequate to energy fashionable video games at 1080P/Low above 30 FPS for even entry degree PC gaming. Thankfully, AMD and Nvidia each supply upscaling choices to enhance efficiency with out destroying picture high quality.
FSR and Upscaling to the Rescue?
AMD has not too long ago launched FidelityFX Tremendous Decision (FSR) which is their reply to NVIDIA’s DLSS. For this assessment, we used Efficiency mode which makes use of a scaling issue of 2X. In a couple of instances, we examined Balanced and Extremely Efficiency modes.
FidelityFX Tremendous Decision (FSR)
FSR improves efficiency by first rendering frames at a decrease decision after which by utilizing an open-source spatial upscaling algorithm with a sharpening filter in an try and make the sport look practically pretty much as good as at native decision. FSR is mainly a post-process shader which makes it straightforward for recreation builders to implement throughout all graphics playing cards and never only for Radeons. To date, there are 110+ obtainable and upcoming video games supporting FSR 1.0 and FSR 2.0 and we’ve examined 13 video games that use FSR for this assessment.
FSR is excess of a regular Lanczos implementation plus sharpening and it brings good worth for greater “free” efficiency with a small hit to visuals. Nonetheless, AMD recommends utilizing High quality or Balanced FSR modes and that Efficiency mode ought to solely be chosen in conditions the place “needing extra efficiency is important.” Utilizing an APU for 1080P gaming undoubtedly meets that description, and we had been shocked that the Low visuals utilizing Efficiency FSR had been (barely) acceptible however much better than puke-inducing low framerates with greater constancy.
Just lately AMD has launched FSR 2.0 which we benchmarked utilizing DEATHLOOP and God of Struggle for this assessment.
By evaluating FSR 2.0 with 1.0, we had been pleasantly shocked to see a big IQ enchancment of FSR 2.0 over the unique. Sadly, Efficiency FSR 2.0 nonetheless takes successful to the visuals however the framerate enhance is stable.
Subsequent let’s take a more in-depth have a look at the LIVA One A300.